"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."I thank and applaud every one of the Sheriffs who have chosen to publicly support our Second Amendment rights.
According to The National Sheriff's Association, the office of Sheriff started circa the 9th century in England and much later, when America was being formed, the Magna Carta delineated some of the responsibilities of -- and restrictions upon -- the Sheriffs of the day. In fact, of the sixty-three items in the Magna Carta, twenty-seven of them dealt with the Sheriff and his duties. The first appointed Sheriff in America was appointed in 1634; first elected Sheriff was in 1652. Early Sheriffs in America also collected taxes (aren't you glad that part has changed?).
The traditional Sheriff's oath of office, shared by at least 43 of the 47 states that have Sheriffs, goes like this:
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support, protect, and defend the Constitution and Government of the United States and of the State of __________; that I am duly qualified to hold office under the Constitution of the State, and that I will well and faithfully perform the duties of Sheriff of ________ County, ________ (state), on which I am now about to enter, so help me God."With only three states (Hawaii, Alaska and Connecticut) not having Sheriffs, there were 3,083 Sheriffs across America as of September 1, 2010. That makes the 400 (and growing) Sheriffs only about 13% of the nation's Sheriff population. That's scary; especially considering that 98% of those 3,083 Sheriffs are elected officers who can deputize people they wish to participate in the law enforcement efforts of their counties. Which begs the statement on the Association's website:
"The Office of Sheriff is not a department of county government, it is the independent office through which the Sheriff exercises the powers of the public trust. No individual or small group hires or fires the Sheriff, or has the authority to interfere with the operations of the office. Elected sheriffs are accountable directly to the constitution of their state, the United States Constitution, statutes, and the citizens of their county."Where are the other 87% of the Sheriffs across the nation? Where is there representation of and accountability to the people? Why have they not signed onto the Constitutional Sheriff's and Peace Officer's Association gun rights statement? Does their NON-signature mean that 87% of the people cannot yet rely on the Sheriffs they elected to protect them to do just that?
Let's not jump to conclusions. The National Sheriff's Association held a press conference on February 1, 2013 and released a statement that says in part:
"WHEREAS, sheriffs strongly support our citizens' protected right to bear arms under the Second Amendment and the National Sheriffs' Association does not support any laws that deprive any citizen of the rights provided under the Constitution and Bill of Rights; andIn other words, they'll stand by whatever the courts decide. With the current president appointing judges that are those of his liking, what can that tell us about upcoming court decisions? (That's why electing a leftist/Marxist president is never a good idea.)
"NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the National Sheriffs' Association supports the rights conferred by the Second Amendment and further recognizes the ultimate authority of the courts in interpreting the scope of those constitutional rights."
Remember the SCOTUS's health care ruling? Justice Roberts suddenly decided that the health care bill was a TAX instead of a law stating that you had to buy what the government said you had to buy (a la low flush toilets, CFL light bulbs, high efficiency washing machines, etc.)? Can we count on the SCOTUS or any other courts to do what is constitutional?
Second chance for their stance: the Sheriff's Association's Executive Summary in which they state in part:
"1. Rule of Law. Our nation's Sheriffs recognize the rule of law in the United States in which the Supreme Court and lower courts are the ultimate authority in determining the constitutionality of any law."Oh. They started with the courts get to decide it. Well, I think that confirms the point. The Sheriffs of America will let the courts decide, as is Constitutional and they are sworn to uphold the Constitution.
The problem with that stance is that it leaves our Second Amendment unprotected from the courts. In fact, the Sheriffs Association's statement leaves us totally unprotected from usurpation via the president's cronies in the court system. It leaves our Second Amendment in jeopardy and balanced precariously on the ledge of judicial activism.
It was judicial activism that took prayer out of schools, established "separation of church and state" as the rule of law; under the newly found "right to privacy" gave us Roe v. Wade and paying for abortion via taxpayer dollars became legal. Judicial activism also gave us an alleged "right to sexual privacy, which encompasses a right to possess and view sexually explicit material in the privacy of one's own home." This included "films - which depict rape, torture, and murder" with the actresses in the films being literally beaten, etc. Some would argue that judicial activism also gave us the Dred Scott decision.
Judicial activism being what it is, and the president's appointments being who they are (his Czars, his judicial appointments -- including Sotomayor and Kagan), how can we count on the courts to interpret laws in favor of our Second Amendment rights?
So many of us tout the Constitutional Sheriff's and Peace Officers' Association's list of Sheriffs who will support and defend our Second Amendment right, considering their own statements and press releases about it, who are they saying will be the ultimate judge?
That leaves it up to us, "We, The People" who will have to defend our Second Amendment rights, does it not? Is that not the way it should be: "We, The People" never leaving our freedoms in someone else's hands? The question is: Are you ready to stand where others will leave it to the courts?
© 2013 Linda McKinney All Rights Reserved